CHRONICLE: Economic growth continues to lag under Rauner

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December’s University of Illinois Flash Index, a monthly indicator of the state’s economy based on the state’s tax receipts and consumer spending, again shows Illinois’ economic growth is lagging under Governor Bruce Rauner.

U of I Economist Fred Giertz said the Illinois economy continues to grow at a slower rate than the national economy, in large part due to the budget impasse and resulting financial damage.

But Giertz suggested lawmakers, by overriding Rauner’s veto of the budget, prevented more damage. “The bad news is it could have been a lot better and the good news is it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

In July, lawmakers of both parties passed a state budget without the involvement of the Governor after a more than two-year impasse. The bipartisan coalition ultimately decided the Governor’s agenda – which would have pushed the state into a third consecutive year without a budget – would do irreparable damage to the state’s finances and institutions.

The November index was at its lowest level in five years. The index is yet another independent report raising troubling economic news for the Rauner administration, indicating the state’s budget crisis has taken a significant toll on the Illinois economy.

Other signs include downgrade of the state’s credit rating at least seven times since Rauner took office in January 2015 and cuts to schools, universities, social service agencies, and healthcare providers.

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